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Commitment into the engagement of the second echelon


The second echelon of the army as a rule is entered into combat on the main axis to widen the offensive. Also the second echelon is used to buildup the strength of the basic power of the strike of the first ehcelon forces during the destruction of the enemy's reserves, during changing the main forces from one axis to anotgher, and also for reenforceing the forces of first echelon which have taken heavy losses. In the situation when the army's second echelon is two divisions theintroduction of them into the engagement isaccomplished one after the other or simultaneously bith division on one axis or with them on two separate axes. thesecond echelon as a rule is introduced into the egagement at the conclusion of accomplishment of the army's immedtiate mission or at the beginning of the subsequent mission, but in accordance with the situation the second echelon may enter combat on the first day of the operation. The second echelon go into the engagement in a gap in the enemy's combat formation and also on the axis which is weakly held by the enemy. One of the most important missions of army troop control is the organization and direction of the commitment into engagement of the second echelon. The activities of the commander and staff and other organs of troop control in organizing the commitment into engagement and support of the combat actions of the second ehcleon are designated in accordance with the conditions of the situation and the assigned missions of the army forces during the commitment of the second ehcelon. the army commander during planning of the operation designates the approximate lines on which the second ehcleon will be committed, but during the time for the commitment of the second echelon the army commander in accordance with the operational situation makes his decision on the exact line for commitment. the staff and army troop control organs receive the following information for making the decision report it to the army commander:

the chief of reconnaissance explains the following:
----- location, character of actions, groupings, and composition of the enemy forces;
----- regions weakly held by the enemy and dimensions of mine fields natural obstacles;
----- enemy's close reserves and their capabilities during the commitment of second echelon and the course of the operation;
----- possible concept of enemy's actions;
----- enemy strong and weak points;
----- most important reconnaissance missions during the commitment of the second ehc leon and the available reconnaissance forces;

The chief of operations explains the following:
----- the location, character aof actions, and capabilities of own forces;
----- locations of the second echelon, most advantageous lines for the commitment;
----- calculation of the correlation of the forces and means of the sides on the entire width of the ofensive and on the width of the axisof commitment of the second echelon, possible changes inthe correlation of forces during the commitment;
----- best axis and movement routes fo the movement of the second wechelon ;
----- calculations on the march, deployment and commitment into action forthe second echelon;
----- organization of command's service for hte march;
----- organization of troop control during the commitment;
----- inspection and rendering assistance to the forces;

The chief of artillery and rocket troops explains the following:
----- reenfocement of the second ehcleon with artillery and organizing the divisional and regimental artillery groups during the commitment into engement of the second echelon;
----- suppoprting the sechon echelon during commitment and missions for army artillery and rocket forces, and adjacent divisions;
----- duration of the artillery fire preparation or fire strike, and resupply of ammunition;
----- which artillery will be employed for support of the commitment and density of artillery per kilometer of front;
----- methods for artillery assault support and accompanying fire;
----- covering dangerous flanks of the second echelon during its commitment by the anti-tank reserves and mobile obstacle detachements;

the chief of army air defense explains the following:
----- covering the sechon echelon forces in their assembly areas, during their movement forward, and on the line of commitment;
----- covering the secheon echelon forces during the operation;
----- reconnaissance of the enemy aerial threat and warning the sechon echelon during movement and commitment;

the chief of engineer forces explains the following:
----- reenforcement of second echelon with engineer forces during commitment; |
----- providing engineer reconnaissance of the location and movmeent routes and line of commitment of sechon ehcelon;
----- preparation of roads for movement and deployment of second echelon;
----- creation of lanes in enmey mine fields if there are any;
----- cover of sechon echelon flanks with the mobile obstacle detachements during the threat of enemy counterattack in interaction with the anti-tank reserves;

The chief of staff explains the following:
----- brief summary and assesment of the enmy:
----- location, character of actions, groupings of forces and possible concept of operation of enemy;
----- best lines for commitment of secondecheonl;
----- immediate enemy reserves and their reaction and capabilities during the time for commitment and course of the operation;
----- strong and weak aspects of enemy;

Suggestions on making the decision about commitment more precise :
------forces and means for reinforcement, line and best time for commitment of sechon echelon, methods for destruction of enemy, axis for main attack, immeidate mission, and axis for further attack;
----- axis and direction of movement for sechon echelon into commitment;
----- cover and support of second echelon during movement and at movemnt of commitment into engagement;
----- most important questions about interaction;

The army commander as a result of the all around assxessment of the situation, and suggestions of chief ofstaff and arms of services, makes his decision on the commitment of the second echelon and issues his combat instructions on the commitment, in which the following are ordered:
----- brief assessment of enemy forces;
----- forces and means for reenforcement of second ehcleon, line an time for commitment, methods for destruction of enemy, axis for main attack, immeidate mission, axis for further attack, and routes for movement to the line of commitment;
----- missions for army arms and services in the interest of the commitment of the second echelon, and also missions for first echelon divisions in support of the commitment;
----- basic questions of interaction during this period;
----- time required to be ready for accomplishment of missions;
----- troop control, signal issues, and deputies.

The army staff in accordance with commander's decision, issuesmissions to the forces, organizes and reenforces reconnaissance on the axis of commitment of second echelon. The chief of engineer forces issues missions to engineer forces for preparing the routes for movement and deployment of second echelon. The army commander and staff with the aim of inflicting a defeat on the opposingenemy grouping and successfuly commitment in the second echelon orgnaizesinteraction between the rocket forces andartillery, air forces, PVO, forces of the first ehcleon thatoperation on thataxis, and also direct the strike ofrocket forces and artillery, air forces, and active actions of first echelon against the opposing enemy. the army staff before time on the axis for commitment deploys the forward command post in order tfor the army caommander to be able to control the forces.

Forcing a water obstacle during the offensive

During offensive operations the army forces will be required to force several rivers and canals. Forcing water obstacles is conducted suddenly, by surprise, from the march, on a wide frontage and with great speed. The forcing forces must develop the offensive cross the obstacle without an interruption. If the attempt at a forced crossingfrom the march does not succeed, in this case forcing the obstacle is organized in a brief time. Forcing narrower rivers, up to 60 meterswide, is conducted by the division'sforces and means, andmedium rivers (width from 60 - 150 meters) by the army forces, and wide rivers 9over 150 meters) by thefrontforces and means. The army commander makes his decision on river crossingsbefore the arrival of the forces at theriver on the map. the missions for forces are established in order for them to have the required time to implement preparatory measures. the staff and troop control organs prepare the required information formaking the decision for river crossing and report it to the commander.

The chief of reconnaissance explains the following:
----- organization and conduct of required detailed and constant reconnaissance on the enemy, the river crossing locations, and the far bank, and regions deep on the far side.
----- forces and means of the retreating enemy and their possible actions;
----- forces and means and character of action of enemy forces that are defending the water obstacle;
----- character of engineer defenses on the river and the quantity of mine fields, forces and means and situation and possibilities of enemy reserves accross the obstacle, and approaching enemy reserves;
----- quantity and capabilitiy of bridges and crossing sites and fords accross the river;
----- designating the areas that are not occupies or are weakly head by the enemy;

Chief of operations reports on the following:
----- location, composition, and capabilities of own forces;
----- designated sectors for crossing for each division of first echelon and methods for movement to the river crossing;
----- mission for seizing bridges and crossing sites that may be possible and sugggestions on conducting an aerial assault or landing or sending a forward detachement and itsf orces and composition;
----- destruction or suppression of enemy defending the river;
----- protection of forces against weapons of mass destrucxtion in the river crossing area;
----- organization of commandant's service in the crossing region in close interaction with the chief of engineer forces;
----- conduct of measures for maskirovka during the movement, during the crossing and in the crossing region, and inspection of maskirovka measures, and creation of dummy (false) crossings;

The chief of ehgineers reports about the following:
----- conduct of detailed and active engineer reconnaissance of the water obstacle and determination of its depth, width, velocity of flow, and condition of banks andtype of bottom, and the quantity of hydro technical installations (dams) and others;
----- conduct of calculationson the crossing;
----- designation of the location for crossing;
----- distribution of the crossing means between the formations and by crossing sites;
----- making approach rotes to the crossings;
----- on time movement of crossing means to the crossing sites;
----- organization of rapid crossing areas and and maneuver of crossing means;
----- detailed organization of maskirovka of the crossing region and creation of false crossing areas in interaction with the chief of the operations directorate;
----- organization of commandant's service in the crossing areas in interaction with the chief of operations;
----- protection of the crossing region against enemy floating mines and other explosives in interaction with the chief of operations;

The chief of rocket forces an artillery explains the following:
----- support of the conduct of air assault and forward detachements by rocket forces and artillery;
----- destruction and suppression of enemy which is defending the far bank of the obstacle;
----- support of crossing area and conduct of the crossing by army forces by rocket and artillery forces;
----- support of army actions on the far bank and during the development of the offensive into the depth;

The chief of the center for control of the air army reports on the following:
----- organization of air reconnaissance on the enemy, the bridges and crossing areas;
----- conduct of attack on the retreating enemy forces, especially while he is assembling to cross;
----- conduct of destruction of enmey approaching reserves and interdiction so he cannot reach the river;
----- destruction of enemy that is defending on the water obstacle;
----- support for the army forces during the approach march, the crossing itself, and the battle on the far side;
----- cover for the army forces from enemy air strikes;
----- conduct of air assaults with the aim of siezing bridges or crossing sites;

the chief of air defense reports on the following:
----- cover of forces during the approach to the obstacle;
----- required air defense in the crossing region for bridges and sites and cover for forces during the crossing;
----- cover for army rear services;
----- cover for forces during the battle accross the river;
----- with the aim acting against enemy active air strikes employing fighter aviation on duty in the air and at airfields;
----- reconnaissance against enemy air attacks and warning of forces of air strikes;

The chief of staff discusses the following points:
----- with the aim of helping the army commander to make a trustworthy decision, he reports on the following topics:
----- brief conclusions and estimate of the situation;
----- enemy forces:
----- composition, forces, character of actions of the retreating enemy, enemy that is defending the obstacle line, and possible reserves accross the water and approaching forces;
----- characteristics of the water crossing:
----- width, depth, velocity of water, and other characteristics of the water obstacle and in accordance with these what kind of forces and means are needed for forcing the crossing;
----- own forces:
----- location, composition